- Lesson details
In this series, instructor Chris Legaspi shows you how to use Adobe Photoshop as an artist. This series will be extremely helpful if you have been wondering how to use your traditional artistic skills in a digital medium, but don’t exactly know where to begin. This first lesson in the series will cover how to set up Photoshop. Chris begins with the very basics, going over what kind of software and hardware he recommends, and how to open and navigate around Photoshop. He will then cover setting up your workspace, menus, layers, and brushes.
Hardware and Software
- Macbook Pro 13″
- Wacom Bamboo, Intuos or Cintiq Tablet
- Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Corel Painter, Manga Studio or Procreate
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we're going to get into the real basic fundamentals of
using Photoshop. When I mean basic I mean really basic.
So if this is your first time using Photoshop, if you're brand
new to computers, is is a great place to start. So we're
going to get really just kind of how to navigate your way
around the software, how to open and close files and open
and close pictures and things like that, how to use the
various menus and exactly what the various parts of the
interface are. So that's pretty important. So again, this is a
great place to start if you're brand new to Photoshop because
we're really going to get into the basics of how to use it and
how to get started.
is Photoshop for beginners, Photoshop for artists.
So this first lesson we're going to kind of get into how
to use Photoshop, the real basics, the real fundamentals
of how to get started using Photoshop to make digital art
and to use Photoshop for your own work and your own reference,
photography, and to make art. There's really two ways to interface
with a computer to make digital art. The first is with a
computer and an electronic tablet, which is what we're
using in this lesson. And the second is a tablet itself. The
modern-day current tablet models as an example would be
like an iPad along with the Apple pencil and also many many
smartphones are pretty big and they come with their styluses.
So those are the two main ways to interface with the computer.
Okay for this lesson, we're going to be using a computer
and tablet combination and the reason why I recommended it, the
main reason why is its versatility. Because you're
going to be having a computer, you can use it for much much
more than Photoshop or to make digital art, of course. And most
people already have computers. If you don't I will tell you
the recommended - the computer that I use and recommend and
also the other reason why I like this combination is
its availability, there are fairly easy to find and also
the cost. Currently you can get computers quite cheap and
tablets that especially the one I recommend, you can get a
combination along with the software for roughly 500 to 600
dollars, you know, get brand new hardware. So I think for these
reasons is why we're going with this combination, why I
recommend it for new - anyone new to digital art. Now
as far as computers go, there's really only two main
options you can choose from: Mac or a PC, a Windows computer. Now
the reason why I recommend Mac is number one is it's the most
user-friendly computer that I know. I personally use both.
Professionally when I was working in the studio I use both
but from my experience Mac is the most user-friendly, any
layperson, anyone new to computers can usually jump on a
Mac and kind of figured their way out fairly quickly because they
are designed for that. They're designed for lay people, which
is why a lot of artists gravitate towards Mac and
another reason why I recommend Mac and why I think it's the
most artist friendly is not only because of its
interface and ability, it's easy to learn, but it has the
most incredible screens, the most incredible displays. In a lot of
ways they are designed for artists. In fact, if you go to
most creative professional studios, they will most likely
have Macs. So it's user-friendly, it's easy to learn, and it's
artist friendly. It has the best screens and many many
artists really enjoy Mac and they can get started right
away even if they're brand new to computers. Now for this
lesson, we're going to be using a desktop Mac, but I personally
recommend for new users, I recommend a MacBook Pro and I
specifically like the 13 inch model, it's a little bit smaller
model and the reason why I like it because of its versatility,
One it's a very powerful computer in and of itself, you
can use it for many many things besides Photoshop, besides
digital art, and a lot of software is built in but also
the size makes it portable. I personally like to work both at
home and outside of the house. I like to go to coffee shops,
I'm sure you do as well. So this alone makes it a really
great option. And also, if you really want to get adventurous
and maybe start doing digital landscape art,
obviously the laptop is a perfect choice for that. So I
recommend MacBooks for new users if you don't have a
computer, specifically the 13-inch because it's powerful
and it's portable.
Now for this lesson along with the computer we're going to
use an electronic tablet. And the tablet we're going to be
using is made by a company called Wacom and Wacom is the
number one tablet company. There's a few out there but by there's a few out there but by
far, by far it's the number one and it's the most common, it's the
most popular. In this lesson we're going to be using a very
large Wacom known as a Cintiq, which is a combination of a
tablet and also a monitor, so you can draw directly on the
monitor, which you'll see me do in this lesson. Now, one of the
main reasons why Wacom is great is because it's a very high
quality product. In fact, I have Wacoms that are five, six,
seven years old and they still work great. Very high quality.
Very well-designed, very user friendly, very easy to use. You
can just plug it in, get started, and also it's very very low
cost. Now the tablet that you'll see me using in
this lesson, the specific model Wacom is a Cintiq. Now because
it's also a monitor it's a bit more expensive but most users
will not need this hardware. The reason why we use it is
just for this lesson it makes it very
easy to see and to use drawing directly on the monitor itself,
directly on the screen. But if you're brand new to using - to
making digital art, I personally recommend a Wacom
Bamboo and a Wacom Bamboo is Wacom's entry-level model, it's
very inexpensive. As of today you can get one for roughly
around $100 or less sometimes. So I personally recommend the
Wacom Bamboo for new users and for most users because most
users will not need a very powerful model of Wacom like
the Cintiq. And also if if you do plan to doing more advanced
stuff, Wacom also has a professional level model known
as the Intuos and Intuos is also a great, it costs a little
bit more but it has a lot more power, little bit more features.
But like I said, I said most users will love and enjoy and
get a lot of work done with just the basic Wacom Bamboo,
which is what I recommend. And finally for software. There's a
lot of really good software out there now for making digital
art. The one we'll be using in this lesson is Photoshop. Now
some of the other software packages you'll see, very
popular ones, are SketchBook Pro is one you have. Painter, which
You have manga Studio, which is kind of a new one. It's very -
it's very cool. And also if you have a tablet or smartphone,
there's a really cool app called Procreate. The reason
why I chose to use Photoshop and why I recommend it is
because it's the first, it's the original, and it's the most
powerful by far. It has the most incredible feature set as
you'll see throughout this lesson. We'll get to
know some of the more powerful and more useful of Photoshop
features. But what Photoshop really is the first, it's the
original, and it's still the most powerful, which is why it's
also the industry standard. So again, if you go to many
creative studios, if you talk to creative professionals, if
you know any they will all know Photoshop, they will all use
Photoshop professionally. So pretty much everywhere you go
you'll see Photoshop. So that's another reason why I recommend
it. And what's also great about Photoshop and why I chose it
for this lesson is that because Photoshop is the first
and original digital art software, many of the current
kind of take the features that are already in Photoshop. So
what that means is that the principles and the tools that
you will learn in this lesson in Photoshop, you can apply to
the other softwares out there. So later if you want to expand
and maybe try other software, you'll see some of
the exact same features used there. For example, like layers
and selection tools and we'll get into all of this in this
lesson. Okay, so that's the software I recommend, that's the
hardware I recommend. Now we're ready to get started using
up Photoshop and we're going to begin by first opening and
closing Photoshop and learning how to actually move and manage
the window itself.
Typically when you have
new software installed it'll be in your applications folder. So
one way to access that
is to go to
Go and Applications.
You can also use the search bar here to grab.
You can also use the
spotlight here to search for
Adobe. That's one thing you could do, just type in Adobe or
Photoshop and it'll bring you to this folder. And our
applications folder here we have
all of our Adobe software.
And I just have to scroll down to find Photoshop folder and
then Photoshop CC 2015 and this will be -
this will open the software. Here's our Photoshop that here's our Photoshop
again. And to close it - there's a couple of ways to close. You
can either click the X in the upper left of the window, or
you can go to the file menu up top under Photoshop and then go
to quit. You can also use the hot key which is command Q. Now
to make a shortcut for yourself so you don't have to
keep going into your Adobe applications folder you can
create a shortcut on your dock. This would be equivalent to the
windows taskbar. And one way you can do that is just to grab
the icon from the applications folder, drag it into your dock
and boom, there you have it conveniently located on your
dock as a shortcut. In windows you can also make a shortcut on
your desktop itself. And once it's on your dock, you just
simply hover over and click and then boom
So that's a quick shortcut to access and open the Photoshop
Okay, once I have it open again, you can close it a
couple different ways. Closing out the window from the file
menu or with the hotkey.
Okay. So here's my Photoshop.
Now I just want to show you quickly how to manage the
application window itself. Okay here we have the actual Photoshop
window and just like any program or any folder, finder
folder, you can just click, hold and drag at the very top and
just move it around your screen. That's one way to do
it. You can also click this green button to expand it back
to full screen.
And there's other view modes you can use
and we'll talk about those later as well.
How to access the view modes but it pretty much works just
like any folder application window, click, hold,
drag, expand. You can also minimize, this yellow button
when you hover over it looks like a minus sign and what that
does is it'll minimizes it back to your to your dock
and there's also a hotkey to hide it, you can also hide and
we'll talk about the keyboard shortcuts as well later. But
just like any other program you'll be able to drag it, move
it around. So just because it's Photoshop doesn't mean it
doesn't work like any other program. Now I want to show you
how to use a canvas. So we're actually going to open and
create a new canvas file and I'll talk about the various
options involved in how how to control the settings for
creating a canvas. There's a couple ways to get a canvas to
start working. One way is to open you can do a file and open
and then browse through your folders,
browse through your folders file. file.
And you can also create a new document. So I'm going to do
file, new. Of course the hotkey
as well would be command N. Now when you do file, new you'll see
this pop-up window with various options.
Now there's a lot of stuff here. But what I want you to
focus on is in the middle and what that is is the actual size,
width, height, and specifically resolution. These are the three
options we want to pay attention to. All these other things we
can leave default. Even at the top here under name you can
name it now, but I like to name it later as I save the file.
So in terms of the actual image size, the canvas size, there's a
couple options that we can do.
First is the actual canvas size, width and height. Now it's here
it's defaulted to inches, yours may be defaulted to centimeters
depending on your region or it may also be defaulted to pixels.
Now I'll talk about the advantages of that. First under
what I do if I make a new document, I typically work with
inches because I'm personally old school.
Now for me, I like to treat Photoshop as if it were a piece
of paper or my sketchbook. That's - I'd like to treat it as
a traditional medium as possible. So for me, I like to
make a file size based on inches of a standard sheet of
paper, which is like an eight and a half by eleven copy
paper. That's what I like to draw on.
And to get the size to actually work with a standard printer. I
make it eight by ten. That way if I like the drawing or the
painting I do and I hit print it'll print and I won't have to
mess with it, canvas or the parameters of the printer.
It'll be all ready print ready. So 8 by 10 and DPI
I typically keep it at 300.
Now 300 works great. It's like a nice all-purpose DPI. DPI
means a pixels per inch. That's the acronym DPI and 300 is
you can expand it, enlarge it. It's pretty high enough for
print if you wanted to print it out and have a good resolution
and you could also
use it for
web. The only disadvantage of having high resolution is
that if your computer isn't strong enough for - your
processing speed isn't fast enough to handle because it
does make a big document. Now resolution is really up to you.
But what would I would say just start with a standard
resolution like 200 or 300 DPI depending on your computer.
The average computers nowadays can pretty much handle 300 DPI.
If you have older model maybe lower DPI to 150. It really
doesn't matter because you can change the resolution, the DPI
and the canvas size at any time. So I would say just
start at a 300 just for the sake of this lesson. I think it's a
good starting point.
Eight by ten at 300 DPI. So great. Just standard way to
work. Maybe hit okay.
You get a nice
blank canvas. And I want to show you another option too. So
we go to file, new again.
And I want to talk about inches versus pixels. So whether
you're in the US or in another region, it will be defaulted to
inches or centimeters. But you may also want to choose pixels.
So under this drop down here, you can change it to pixels. Now
pixels are great, if you know exactly the size of your canvas
and terms of its pixel dimensions. Now one advantage to
working with pixels is if you're making artwork for the
web or if you're making graphics, for example, I like
to change my Facebook cover from time to time and I know
the exact dimensions. Right now, they're currently at 850 or
something like that. So you can actually punch it in if you
know exactly the dimensions you're working on I would choose
pixels and this is especially great for applications to web
or graphic design applications, working with web or graphic
So that's one advantage of working pixels. But again for
me I'm pretty old school. So I like just set it at eight by
ten inches. And again, you can change dimension at any time.
Okay. Now that we have a canvas we're ready to go, ready to
start. I want to show you how to actually manage the canvas,
how to move, zoom in and out. That way we can actually
manage and control the canvas as we make our artwork.
Alright. So the first thing we need to do is learn how to zoom
in and out and to zoom in and out, one way to access that
feature is to go to the tool bar on the very left here.
And we'll talk about various Photoshop menus later as well.
We'll get into more detail. If you go to the very bottom of
the tool strip here, you have this magnifying glass, and when
you click it, it activates the magnifying glass or the zoom
tool. The hotkey is Z, so think of Z for zoom. Now my zoom a
magnifying glass, if you notice it has a plus which means it's
going to zoom in or make it larger. So if I click
with the zoom tool activated I can zoom in
and of course, you can't really notice much because I'm zooming
into a blank white canvas, but one thing you could do is check
at the upper left here of the window. You notice that the
number says eight hundred percent. If you notice if I
the number changes, it gets bigger. So this is one way to
check for yourself the actual tab of the canvas here. Now to
zoom back out all I have to do is while the zoom tool is
active hold down alt. So I'm going to press and hold alt.
Now you'll notice the icon change to a minus, that means I'm
going to zoom out or get smaller.
And look at the upper left here,
pay attention to the number in the upper left, and you see the
canvas coming back on my screen. And I can zoom out as much as I
need simply by holding alt and clicking. And this is great for
checking your work obviously. This will simulate a stepping
back from the canvas.
So again, one of the things I like to do is treat Photoshop
as if it were traditional media. As a painter, as a fine artist
myself I'm always thinking this way. And this tool I use
every time, you're going to be using it every time the zoom
especially zooming out and checking your work. So this is
exactly like how when you're working on a painting or
drawing on traditional medium, you would take a step back. So
this is a wonderful feature that you'll probably be using
So then to zoom back into simply release alt to get the
icon going there back to a plus.
And there's also hotkeys and we'll talk about if you hold
command and plus you can zoom in or come in, minus it's another
hot key as well, but we'll get into more of the keyboard
shortcuts or the hotkeys later in detail. So that's how you
zoom in and out. The next thing you want to do
of course is to pan. And panning is moving the canvas. And
to access pan there's two ways to access pan. One is
with the toolbar, you go to the left of the tool strip and you
click the hand icon, see the little hand tool, and it's
actually right above zoom. So if I click hand now if I go to
my canvas I get a little hand. If I click and hold you can
physically move, drag the thing around, so now I can manage my
window in case if I need to zoom in and use details. So for
I'll just make a quick drawing.
Okay, and let's say I want to edit the G. So I would zoom in,
hit Z to zoom, shortcut. Now I'll go into either click the pan
tool or another shortcut is actually the space bar. So this
is a very common short-cut you'll probably be using every You'll probably be using every
So when I press and hold space bar, notice the icon changes to
the hand and as I'm holding space bar, click and drag and
now I can pan my canvas and now I can work on the G or work
on the eye or whatever part of your drawing and painting you
need. So either activate the pen tool or click, press and
hold space bar. And now you can pan, move around the canvas as
first we're going to talk about the various parts of the
Photoshop work space itself and then I'm gonna show you how to
manage the various items in the workspace because I want to
make it as efficient as possible. I like to keep my
workspace as minimal as possible and I want to show you
the key parts or the key elements that I think are
necessary that you'll be using the most often.
Okay, here are the Photoshop program and this is
what's known as the workspace and let me talk about the
various parts of the workspace that I think are the most
important. First at the very top you have the file menu and this
is also in Windows and other other operating systems. But
basically the file menu once Photoshop is active you have
various options and we'll go over the various options here,
there's some very powerful options we're going to be accessing
with the menu.
And over on the left here we have the toolbar or the tool
Up top, right below the file menu you have this strip, this
is the options menu and this will change depending on the
various tools that you're using.
Over on the right we have our menu windows and these will get
really get into detail. These will be all the
menus and the options that we can have and the adjustments
that we can use. This is a very powerful
menu options here. So we'll get into detail there. So the menu
windows are probably the most important part of the work
space. So I want to show you the key menu windows because
there's a lot
available to us. I want to show you the ones that I use over
and over and over again and probably be the most effective
for you as well.
Okay. So this is the default menu Windows setup when you
just first launch Photoshop, there's a bunch of stuff here
and you can also find them under the drop-down menu, under
window, if I click window, click and hold window notice all
options here. These are all menu windows that we can call
So of these default, what I'm going to do is I'm going to
strip it down to what I think are the most effective windows
and there's only five.
And they are first
color, and I'm just going to click and drag them here. We'll
talk about managing windows in a moment.
The next that I use quite often is layers.
The next is
brush and brush presets so these two are already
tabbed or grouped together. We'll talk about that as well.
And the final is history.
So these are the five ones I use often. There's other
windows that I use quite a bit as well but
for sure these will be part of your workflow most often.
I'll talk about some other windows as well. But what the
first thing to do is going to get rid of all these I'm not
going to use them. There's just too many.
And just going to X them out here.
Clicking that little X. Okay, so we got rid of that.
So these are the five windows we need. Now I'm going to
arrange the windows.
Okay. Now we know the most important menu windows. I'm
going to show you how to arrange them, how to manage
them. It's a little bit tricky but with some practice you'll
be able to use it. And this is a feature that's fairly new to
Photoshop, being able to
control the menu windows to this level and I'll show you
how to do that now.
All right. First thing we want to do is group them or tab them.
Notice that there's two parts of the menu window. It's the
actual this top bar which is where you can grab click and
hold and drag it all around. There's actually the tab where
you have the name and this is where we can tab and group
these menu windows together and I'll show you how that works.
So the first menu group that I like to have together is color,
brush presets, and brush. So what I'm going to do is take
the brush and I'm going to drag it over to color and tab it. So
to do that I'm going to click and hold over the name, not the
bar, but the name.
Click, hold, drag it over and when you see that blue outline
you just release and then it tabs it over and then you
notice you can just quickly swap back and forth. So that's
making a tab group and I'm going to do the same with brush
and it click hold. Drag it over until I get that blue outline.
It's tabbed together.
You could also change the order. I like this order color
first, brush presets. I use brush presets quite a bit and
we'll get much more into detail on using these two menus here,
menu windows. They're very powerful.
And finally, I like to group layers and history. So I'm just
going to take history, drag it over,
and tab it to history.
we can leave these two tab groups floating. But what I
like to do is
lock them together and one way we can do that is by grabbing
the top bar. Not the tab. So the tab is individual windows, but
the top bar now controls the group. I'm going to grab this
top bar, click and drag it, and then move it to the bottom
of this other tab group until I get a blue line. So you notice
the blue line then I'm going to release and now it's grouped
together, two tabbed groups together, the first one that I
created up top, the bottom one I created and now the group that created and now the group
together. Now I only have one handle for both tab groups. So
you see that it's just a convenient way you can have
them floating but this is just much nicer and neater and
cleaner. And another way you can clean up your menu windows
is by minimizing them. You can collapse them to icon, you can
make them even smaller
by clicking holding and dragging. So I'm putting my
cursor at the edge of this minimized menu window tab group
and just clicking and dragging until I get just only icons. So
that's really neat and you can click the individual icons to
call in the menu. You still have the tab feature. That's a
very powerful way to organize your menu windows. And now I
just have, you know, I just have much more real estate now if I
need. I'm trying to not - careful not to hit the X. The X will close
this group. I'll show you real quick. If you accidentally hit
the X it'll close the group, but you can recall any group
under window. So go to file, menu at the very top, click
window, and then you can recall any one of the groups. I'll
just hit brush for example, and then it should still be tabbed
together because it's saved that order. Then another thing
you could do is to what I like to do is drag it to the side of
or side of the workspace either minimize or full and now
we have all this real estate in the middle.
So it's a real nice convenient way to clean up your menu
window. And the last thing you could do if you want to
have a full real estate and you don't want any of your tools.
Let's say you want to quickly view your canvas at full screen
or at least without all of your menu windows, one thing you
could do is you can hide your menu windows and your other
parts of the work space and a couple ways you can do that.
First is by holding, pressing tab. So if I click tab notice
all the keys all the menu windows go away.
Recall them by by hitting tab and we'll get into keyboard
shortcuts more into detail. You can also use F to change your
Canvas open for example, if you hit F and you get to this full
screen mode without the tab. So it's another way to hide it and
the third way is with the drop-down menu. So go to window.
You can go to let's say color and uncheck color and it should
hide the entire tab group because color is grouped with a
bunch of tabs.
I just bring that back. So if you want to hide your menu, menu
windows, you can do that. I typically just use tab. Tab is
one of the hot keys that you be using over and over again and
hide and recall.
So those are just some options to manage your menu windows.
Now I want to take a look at the file menu. So the file menu
is the menu at the very top of your screen, at the top of your
workspace. There's a lot of options in file menu. So I'm
going to show you some of the key options that are used over
and over again and some of the sub features of the file menu.
Okay at the very top is known as the file menu. So there's a
lot of stuff here right if you click on any of them.
Call up a drop-down. Now the ones that I use over and over
again, well, let's start from the left to right, we have file,
edit, image, layer, type, select, filter 3D view, window, and help.
I barely use 3D, in fact, I don't use 3D. Type, barely.
What I do use the most is edit.
Under edit you have these various options up here and one
key part of edit is keyboard shortcuts. I'm just going to
click on that and this will access to keyboard shortcuts.
In other words hotkeys.
Now hotkeys are a big part of my work flow, keyboard
shortcuts. So I definitely want to spend time on hotkeys but
for now, I want you to start to get familiar
with the concept of using hotkeys, in other words using
your free hand on the keyboard. And this will make your
workflow much more efficient.
So these are the keyboard shortcuts we'll get into these
in another lesson.
And one of the things about edit, that's really powerful
ways that you can cut and adjust the canvas. Right now,
they're greyed out because I don't have anything selected.
So that's edit. Image I use quite a bit, specifically
adjustments. If you go to image adjustments, you have all these
sub-options and these are some powerful features as well that
we'll get into and you can also do -
you can affect your image and canvas size. Remember previously
I said, it really doesn't matter the size of your canvas
and its -
its resolution in the beginning because you can change it
anytime. Image size you'll change your resolution. Canvas
size, you can actually physically change the canvas
size. Also I like rotation.
And we'll get into these features as well.
I never use layer. I use the layer options that are built
into the menu window. Type, no. Now select, I only use select
and select options we'll also get into another lesson is
how to create
a selection or a way to a mask or frisket it's also known as
a way to mask out areas and those are selections and these
are the various options you have with selections under
select. This drop-down controls your selection. So when we get
into that we'll cover more detail how to use the select
menu. Now filter I use quite a bit. There's a bunch of filters,
they all do cool stuff, but typically I use only a handful
of filters. And we'll get into filters more as well. But I
one thing I like to do is access the filter gallery and
then so if you click on that it'll - right now there's
nothing on my screen so you won't be able to notice
anything but it calls a bunch of various filters and filters
are just really cool Photoshop.
That's a cool Photoshop feature that changes the look of your
artwork very quickly.
So I'm going to close that that filter
3D I don't use. Zoom. There's some features here use quite a
bit, but I start to get familiar with the hotkeys like
zoom in and out, screen mode, the hotkeys F, and also things like
snap and guides that we'll use later when you want more
precision and rulers and things.
Now window we saw earlier. You can call and hide the various
And help as well. I rarely use help but that's available. So
that's a brief overview of the file menu. Pretty much you're
only going to be using file, edit, image, select, view, and
of course window. The rest I really wouldn't put too much
thought into and also
to close Photoshop. It's not under file it's actually under under file is actually under
this far left, Photoshop CC in this case CC stands for
Creative Cloud. It's the version that I'm using and you
can call up quit and also preferences
under here. And these are just the workspace preferences that
we can play with but we're not going to get into that in this
Okay. Now I want to look, explore the tools and the
options menu. So there's a lot of stuff we can do in
conjunction when we combine the options menu with the
various tools. Okay, starting with the tools menu. On the very
left here we have the tool strip.
Now the tool strip you can actually move it. If you look
at this top bar tool strip you can, click, hold it, and just move
it around if you want it. You can actually close it as well
and again to recall it just go to window.
At the very bottom is tools
and then you can recall it under window. And what I like
to do is
just drag it back and lock it to the workspace. To do that
you click, hold, drag it, and then move it to the left until you
see this blue line and then boom it should lock it in place
and then I'm going to change the shape of it.
there. So now it's back in this narrow shape. I like
this long narrow shape.
Typically when you're using the workspace my philosophy is to
keep it as clean and minimal as possible and preserve as much
of the real estate as possible. So that's why I like the skinny
toolbar and actually sometimes I hide the toolbar because I'm
familiar with the keyboard shortcuts associated with each
tool. Now you can actually hide toolbar
with windows tools and I like to make a shortcut for
that. We'll do that in another lesson.
But the reason why I don't use - I don't really need the toolbar
here because I'm already familiar with the hotkeys and
one way to see the hotkeys is to hover over. But first let's
talk about the various tools. Up top you have
Here, you have bar key and selection.
Here you have the lasso tool which is free form selection.
Below that is magic wand.
Crop tool change size of your canvas. Eyedropper, which is the
color picker tool. This is like
some sort of healing brush. I don't use this, that's new. Brush,
use this quite a bit. Of course brush also can be pencil for
drawing, not just painting. Rubber stamps very powerful and
famous part of Photoshop. You actually clone and copy things.
Not quite sure what this is. That's kind of new. This is, I
believe it's an eraser. Okay. So eraser, of course, you're going
to be using that quite a bit. Gradient tool, one of my
favorite tools. You'll be using that quite a bit.
I believe it's smudger or something like that. We can
soften edges. I don't really use that. I don't know what
this is, like a lollipop pen tool for making vectors and
sharp edges. Text. Selecting pen tool, selecting vectors. You use
that only if these two - only if you're familiar with using
vectors. And here is shapes, objects, making vector
and vector is
a type of object instead of painting and brushing you can
actually create a digital object, a digital shape.
And then hand, the hand, and finally zoom that we know. Also
at the very bottom you have some more options here.
These are the view modes at the very bottom.
Notice you can scroll through them.
And also, this is your color. If you actually click it you can
call up color picker.
Foreground and background.
You can swap them here. So these are just some other
options but these are the real tools that you'll be using.
Now we have a lot of tools.
The ones that I use over and over and over again, and you
will as well. Obviously our brush
and eraser, number one and number two I would say. The second
that I use quite a bit besides pan and zoom, of course, I
don't really count those tools, is marquee and selections.
Marquee you can actually draw a perfect square, perfect
ellipse, a long rectangular row, basically make a selection make basically make a selection
or a mask or frisket as it's also known as and selections
basically a free-form marquee a free form selection so that you
will be using quite a bit. Of course crop, eye picker you'll
probably be using every time but I definitely use keyboard
shortcuts. I don't like to drag.
One of the advantages of using keyboard shortcuts is that you
don't have to move your pen off your drawing. Notice my pen,
right? The toolbar's on the left, but my drawing and
painting is in the middle. So if I do this guess what that's
I loose. You see that?Versus if I have this. My left hand is
and paint and paint away, paint to draw away save me a lot of
time. So again,
that's another reason why I would become familiar with keyboard
Now in the
toolbar, speaking of keyboard shortcuts, a cool
feature of the toolbar is if you hover your mouse, or your
pen in this case, over it it'll actually give you
In fact if I
click, yes, if I click and hold notice I see a keyboard
shortcut and also there's additional tools. Let's talk
about that first. So for example, if I click and hold
this top tool move, you notice that on the very right
there's a V and that's the keyboard shortcut for move. For
example zoom as we know is Z.
Pan, we know spacebar.
The brush is defaulted to B, I like that B for brush.
The eraser guess what's defaulted to E.
So those are ways you can actually find the keyboard
shortcut for the various tools.
B, E, Z, V for move. Lasso starts with an L and guess
what's defaulted to L. Marquee is defaulted to M.
And you can also change the keyboard shortcuts, but for the
tools, I like to keep them defaulted.
Now notice when you click and drag there was a drop down menu
of additional options. What these are are the subtools or
options for the various tools. So for example, under brush,
what are your most common tools, if you click and hold notice
the little arrow. If you click and hold tool that has a
drop-down arrow that means there's subtools or sub-options
and one of the options can be pencil. So instead of using
brush to draw you can change it to pencil. What pencil does it
just creates a more of a
sharper sort of like drawing with an old-school school
pencil with the ones with the eraser. It's got that
nice harsh kind of pencily line and then if I click it
back to brush it's a little bit smoother, the line that I made
So that's a sub option on the brush. They all - the ones that
have that little arrow all have sub-options. So for example,
the eraser has one.
Gradient tool, the gradient tool is a powerful, probably the
third most powerful, most frequently used tool that I
like and under gradient tool sub-option you have paint
bucket. What paint bucket does is it does a fill and this is - many
many programs have a paint bucket feature.
You can use that to fill a space and we'll talk about how
to use these various tools later. But that's a difference
using paint bucket. So this part I'll be using quite a bit,
the clicking and holding to get the various tool options. Under
V have one, under lasso you have some various options. You
have the straight freeform lasso and the polygonal lasso.
We'll be using it quite a bit. Under marquee you have square
or round, like I mentioned earlier you'll be using those
quite a bit as well.
And another way to access
the submenu with the keyboard shortcut is by holding shift.
So for example, if I hold shift and hit B, notice the icon
changes from to pencil now to another type of brush to
another type of brush, back to the first type. So B - shift
actually shift plus the keyboard shortcut will shift,
will scroll through the various sub tools, but don't worry about
that too much. If you forget, if you get stuck just make sure to
periodically come back and check that you have the right
tool under the - the right sub tool that you're using.
And finally we're gonna look at the options menu. The options menu
affects the various tools and there's actually some very
powerful options that we can use. So let's take a look at
Okay. So the options menu is this bar at the very top.
Now, you know, just like the
tool strip you actually physically move it
right there. You can hide it too by going under window,
I also set that to a keyboard shortcut or hotkey.
So here's my - think back. Remember if you lose a menu,
you know, for example, you have brush, you lose brush and you
accidentally X out your tool, you're like oh God, what do I do?
Remember they're all under windows. So don't panic if you
lose part of your workspace. It'll be under window, the
drop-down menus. I want to bring my tools back. Bring my
brush presets back. There we go.
Just retab that and then re-lock it to the left side of the
screen now, it's locked. Okay back to options now here. I
have eraser selected. Options will change depending on the
tool. So for example eraser here is calling up these
various options. If I hit brush another set of options.
notice the option changes. Zoom
So notice that options affect the tools. Okay. Now typically
I don't use the most of the tools like I mentioned earlier
so I don't really use options that much except for some very
key tools and the first is brush and eraser. So to me
brush and eraser have the same exact options parameters, so
notice brush and the eraser they basically have the same
options and that is opacity,
flow, and this is a transfer and we'll get more into the Hakeem will get more into the
under brush menu, but just keep in mind that brush options
controls its opacity, flow, and these other two options which
is transfer. And also you can change the mode and mode is
another thing we'll get into. It's related to the blending
mode. That's what this is. So don't worry too much about that,
make a mental note for yourself. When you want to check your
brush's opacity make sure to look up at your options menu
strip here and also you can control the size.
Call up the brush menu window, but I like to have it over
here. It's the same thing here. You can control the size here
as well. I like to use this versus this but if you're more
comfortable, of course by all means use your options strip
versus your menu window. And also again, there's a hotkey
for brush size and we'll talk more of that when we get into
And if you look at eraser, it's about the same.
Same options, the size and its opacity. Keep that in mind for
eraser as well.
Now the second most powerful options, menu options settings
that we want to play with is with the gradient tool. So
remember a gradient's hotkey is G, it's also here in the paint
bucket. If you don't see it, if you see paint bucket remember
paint bucket and gradient tool are under the same tool so you
can either click and hold to get gradient tool or hold shift
and G, remember holding shift plus the hotkey or the keyboard
shortcut will scroll through the tool menu. So notice it's
scrolling through here. So I'm going to go -
I was at paint bucket. Paint bucket options I don't really
mess with but I do mess with gradient tool. Now the gradient
tool is probably the third most powerful tool, like I mentioned.
Now under gradient tool what's important to notice here, of
course besides opacity is this tool which is reverse and we'll
get into that as well. Reverse will change the actual shape,
the style of your gradient. But this is what I want you to pay
attention to is the actual shape. So if you want to change
the shape of your gradient, it's under options menu. And the
three shapes - well, it's five shapes. But there's only three
then you'll be using every time. This is flat. I'll show you
what that looks like real quick,
creates a flat rectangular gradient across the whole
creates a circular shape, very powerful. This one fragment, I
never use that.
This one on the far right, star shape, never use that in 20
years. But this one I do this is reflective. What that does
is creates a sort of like reflective basically a gradient
from the middle out, middle out. That's what reflected does so
in short rectangular,
circular, and reflective. So changing the shape of your
Now the gradient tool is awesome. I use it almost every
time. One of the the keys to being successful with the gradient
tool is to keep your eye on the shape because depending on how
your Photoshop is configured or how you have used it previously
it may, you know for example, it may be stuck on reflective. When you
open Photoshop for some reason gradient tool is defaulted to
reflective. You may not want that. You may want a circular so
always keep that in mind that changing the shape will be an
options. So if something happens when you're working
with the tool and it doesn't feel quite right glance, make
sure to glance over to the options menu. So you make sure
you're using the right option, the right shape for example,
specifically with brush as well. Remember I mentioned earlier
the brush it's important just to keep your eye on it.
And that's also a good practice besides having your hotkeys
available is to just periodically glance with your eye up equally glance with your eye up
to the options menu. Make sure that everything is working and
as you practice, you'll be able to navigate the workspace with
your peripheral vision, sort of like driving a car, you know,
you don't pay - you don't have to look to don't you don't have to look to
the left and right anymore, you depend on your peripheral
vision. And that's kind of how I I focus all of my concentration
on your canvas, on your work of art, of course. And then
everything else you want to learn to manage with your
peripheral vision and with practice you'll get there.
Okay, and finally the last options menu that I think is
quite important, and this may be a surprise, is the text. I'm
going to activate text. Now Photoshop you actually write
things, this may be useful if you're making web graphics,
you know updating your Facebook or even making a birthday cards
or postcards or if, you know, if you want to write to your - to a
relative or your niece or something like that. You can
actually use the text tool. Now the text tool is powerful
because it works pretty much like word editing program. Any
any document type editing program. It's pretty powerful, has a
lot of features, but as far as the options, if you look up top the options. If you look up tub
notice that you can change the font. You can change the size
of course, but what I want you to pay attention to is actually
this guy, this is a paragraph. It's also known as the
Notice, it called up a bunch of stuff that it was stuck to.
Remember how under window if we hide or call up it'll
default to what it's stuck to, our tab group. I'm
just going to get rid of this guy. Just drag it out of here.
Then close this guy. Okay. So this is a tab group that has
character and paragraph. Now character menu window has
everything that you have in your options menu, so similar to
Now whether you use the options menu or the menu window, it's
totally up to you. I prefer to use menu window, but you may
find it more comfortable to use options menu and brush and text
or one of these tools that have both available to you.
So character under text is great. But what's important is
paragraph. If we look under paragraph now we can see
whether we want left, center, or right justified. And again
that's called up here with this button. So I like this
part of the text window simply because
paragraph is right here and all of these options are right
here. Same with the menu window. So that's why I wanted to
mention text briefly.
So probably for 90% of what you'll be doing you won't be
using text but for that occasion, you'll know it's
there and again make sure to periodically check your options
menu to make sure that the options for your text tool is
exactly what you want.
powerful, most important part of the workspace, are the menu
windows. So we're going to spend a little bit of time now
to go over the five key windows and some of the parts of each
menu that you'll be using quite a bit.
All right. So as far as menu windows go we know that there's
pretty much five we like to use. And briefly I wanted to
touch on a couple of other menu windows that I use quite a bit.
I didn't include them here, but I just quickly touch on them
and that those two are
gets stuck. Let's get rid of that.
And I'm not going to tab these, I just want to show you what
what they do briefly.
I think they're very useful tools and a lot of artists that
love to use navigator and channels. So so briefly
navigator what that does is it works a lot like zoom and pan.
If you notice the red line around this canvas here, that's
my entire canvas. But if I
move this slider I can zoom in and out.
So you see that, how it's zooming in and out. I can even
type a precise number. Let's say I want to zoom in at
609.45 percent. Precision, boom. So five percent Precision boom so
you can manually type it in or use the slider.
And it's also useful about windows that -
or navigator is that you can also pan and notice that now
I can actually click and hold, see the hand icon, similar to
the pan icon here. Just click and hold and I can move around
my canvas as I need to. And it's also great because it gives you
a full view off your entire canvas. This is like
being zoomed out, being away from your canvas, stepping back
20 feet away, and also having the ability to zoom in. So this
is a very powerful tool. So that's why I wanted to mention
navigator quickly. I wouldn say it's not one of my essential
essentials. These are the five essentials, but I definitely
use navigator, a lot of artists love it and you may as well so
definitely play with navigator. Don't leave it. I didn't
leave it out because it's useless. I just thought these
were much more essential. So that was a a brief look at navigator.
Works just like zoom and pan. And finally channels. Now
channels look scary and confusing to be honest I
still don't understand what the heck they do but
channels are related to alpha masking and alpha channels and
that's this guy right here under my layers menu. And we'll
spend a lot more time creating masks and channels. That's a
very powerful feature and it looks scary and intimidating,
but I'll be able to walk you through. I'll help you out.
Don't worry. I got your back. So this is a quick look at
channels and that's why I didn't include them in my five
essentials because we're not going to be using alpha masking
and channels yet, but it's definitely one that you will be
using quite a bit as we move forward. So that was a brief
look at channels.
Alright now let's quickly break down the menu windows and of
I would argue that the order of importance is one layers, and
brush. So let's talk about layers real quick. So Photoshop
is very powerful program as we all know. If you've played with it
before, you know, it's quite powerful, it's very
robust. It's huge. It can do a lot of things but I would argue
that probably layers I believe it's the one of the innovations
that Adobe Creative Photoshop is programmed to come up with this
idea of layers. They're basically like tracing paper or
one of my old colleagues used to call it onion skin. I don't
know, I guess onion skin is transparent. So it's like, you
know, imagine you're drawing and a bunch of tracing papers.
That's kind of what a layer is but it's a digital piece of
tracing paper. So that's why it's so powerful. So there's a
lot of stuff we can do in layers. I could probably spend
an hour showing you the various parts of the layer. Of course,
it's going to be better if you practice, you'll learn it faster
if you practice. It's really scary and intimidating. I know
just looking at it right now
what is all this stuff? I don't really know but
I just want to talk about I think what's important with the
layers. Again the essentials that we'll be using over and over
again, so we can't possibly cover everything that you'll be
using all the powerful features of layers, but just keep in
mind that layers is arguably the bread and butter, the most
important feature of Photoshop. That's why I want to
talk about it now and I want you to start getting familiar with
it now, but here for this lesson, I'm going to show you
the key parts of the layers window.
Alright, so here's layers in Photoshop. So this menu window.
And remember ours is tabbed, it's tab to this group. You can move
it and drag it around. If you lose it, you accidentally click
X you can call it back up by going to window. Again become
your menu windows and calling them back up with layers. So
here's layers. I'm going to tab it back,
lock it up with history. I like to keep those together.
Now under layers is a lot of stuff. There's this top row
that looks kind of scary and intimidating. There's this
middle row, that's not that scary. There's this third row,
looks pretty intimidating, this bottom row my God, what is all
this stuff? But don't worry about that, pay attention to
this middle, right? This is your actual layers, the layers
happening. Right now I have no layers. It's flat. That's what
background is. Typically when you open a new file I'll close
this file real quick.
Let's say file, you create a new file.
Right with the default setting so it creates - it's just a flat
canvas but no layers. So that's why it's called background and
this icon is a lock,
means that you only affecting what's toggled. I'll talk more
about that in a minute.
So the same thing works when you open an image as well, of
course. I'm going to open an image go to file, open and under
my desktop I have a little
folder, have a little reference image. So once you
open an image that's flattened, this is a jpeg.
Jpeg is an image file.
You notice under your layers it's also just backgrounds,
meaning it's just a flat, flattened canvas.
two things you'll be using the most with layers is creating
new layers, duplicating layers, and deleting layers. That's
three things. Sorry. So one way to do that,
for example, is to click this button. Now this bottom row I
know it looks intimidating, there's a lot of stuff, but
don't worry you'll be using all of these so you want to
start getting familiar with them. Starting with this one on
the far - second to far right, there's a trash can, you can
pretty much guess what that does. The one next to the trash
can, if you click that what it does - boom, creates a new layer.
So now I have a layer so in essence, it's a piece of
digital tracing paper sort of and
that button calls up a layer. If you want to delete your layer,
you can just click the trash can
and it'll ask you to delete it. I like to - I don't need this
confirmation window. So there's delete. Now another way to
delete a layer is by dragging. So to make a new layer
again, click the icon next to the trash can,
creates a new layer. And you can make as many as you want.
And it'll by default it names them layer
one, two, three, four, five, and so on which is pretty cool. Now to delete these
layers, let's say I don't want all of these, let's say I just
want layer one.
You can click the garbage can or you can actually drag, that's
what I like to do. So just say I want to delete layer four, just
click, hold, and drag it down to the trash can. It's gone. Same
with layer three. Boom, gone. Same with layer two. Boom. So that's
dragging, two ways to delete a layer,
one way to make a fresh new layer.
Now you can also duplicate a layer. So let's say for
example, I have a drawing
on layer one that I like. Let's say, you know, call it drawing.
Now let's say I like this layer for whatever reason. Now I
can duplicate and make a mirror perfect copy of whatever is on
this layer by clicking, holding, and dragging
to the new layer button. So click, hold under layer one, the
one I want to copy or duplicate, and then drag it to the new
layer button and boom. It makes a copy and it defaults to
naming it copy, which is pretty cool.
So now I have the second version and this is the move
tool I'm using here. So I use it quite a bit. The shortcut is a V.
It's now I have it perfectly copied.
That's making a perfect copy using click, hold, and drag. I'll
do it one more time.
And if you made a copy, you don't like it of course, you
can just click drag it to the trash can or click trash can
itself. So now we're back to our original layer called
And another important feature we'll be
using quite a bit is the naming and the visibility. So this
little eyeball icon is visibility. So watch when I
it doesn't disappear, the layer's still there what it is is the
layer is now invisible or it's not visible just click the
icon. So remember when we made a copy, say I make a copy of
drawing. This is my drawing. Layer number two. Let's say I
like this first one
I don't like the second layer. I want to hide it just to
quickly check. I can just click, boom. Now it's still there, but
it's just not visible. Let's say I want to check if drawing
works but drawing two doesn't so I can hide drawing number one
just by clicking the eyeball icon. So you want to get
familiar with this eyeball icon. Don't be scared. It's not
the computer staring at you. What it is is visibility.
Okay, so that's eyeball icon.
The last thing is naming. You may want to name your layers.
So for example, you make a new layer. Let's say I want to make
this top layer, I'll call it drawing and to change the name what I
like to do is hover over the name itself, the text itself, and
You see that now it's highlighted and I can change
the name. I'll call it
shading, layer three will be color.
So now have three layers and I change the name. There's
nothing - I made this one invisible or unvisible. There's
nothing on these two layers they are blank, they're empty
layers, but if I wanted I could start to paint and use this
So that's visibility, naming, creating new layers and you can
also change the order. So for example,
let's say under shading
I have some shading here.
And then on this layer I
have us splotch of color. All right, so let's say I want to
change the order. Let's say
going to move it here.
All right. Let's say I want
color to be above shading.
I want to see - right now this blob of brown, shaded blob the blob of brown shaded blob
this brush mark I made is above the blue mark. So what I
can do is change the order by clicking and holding under
layer and then just simply dragging it. Boom, now it's
above. So you see that and you can move it around now
to manage it so now it's above the shading. Remember before it
Now it's above. And if I want this patch of blue above the
drawing layer, you simply move it up. Now it's above drawing.
now it covers drawing. And you can play with the various orders.
So those three features, visibility, naming, and changing
the order, you're going to be doing that probably every time
so become very familiar.
So even within what we just did here there's still a lot of
subtleties and there's a lot more stuff for the layers, but
probably that's what we're going to be using the most.
There's one final thing I want to touch on and we'll get more
on other lessons and of course we'll constantly review and
build upon the knowledge. But there's one more thing I
wanted to show you with layers.
And the final thing that makes layers really powerful is
and fill as well. And that's these two options here.
So for example
let's say I have a -
say you have an apple, just quickly draw an apple, and I
know you might be itching to draw it.
At home, we'll have plenty of time to do our own drawings and
paintings. And once we get the more advanced lessons, let's say I
have this little apple and I want to add some dark
shadow to it. I don't know. I don't know, I don't know why I'd want to do that.
So but this first layer here has my Apple on it. If you
notice I make it invisible. I can hide it. I'm going to call
Just to name it and just to and also to practice. Next I want to
do is make a new layer. So it'll default go above the
layer. I'm going to call this shadow, going to name it shadow.
And then I'm going to just paint a like a dark purpley
We'll get more into color management as well. And I'm finally
going to make a new layer and call it highlight
and I'll make
brighter browner version of.
So I have some very ugly apple. That's okay. We invented Apple. That's okay. We
have Photoshop we can do a lot of things now. So we have three
different layers, right? I have the apple itself,
I have the shadow I painted on a new layer, and highlight.
Also, I want to briefly touch, as you saw me do this crude
little apple demo thing, notice that each component - every time
I made a mark, I mean Shadow, I made a highlight, I put on a
fresh layer that's the best practices, something that I've
come to to do every time I work with Photoshop. So whatever
make a new operation is to make a fresh layer. And we saw how
easy that was, you know, by clicking that layer icon, make a
fresh new layer and that way you can start. And the advantage of
that is that you can edit as much as you want, which is
probably the most - other most powerful feature of Photoshop
is the editing and layers gives you that ability to edit
something on its own transparent layer, that way it
doesn't affect what's beneath or what's above it for example.
again, we'll cover this more in detail, but just
something to keep in mind is that whenever you make a new
operation or a make a mark or try something new, it's good
practice to make a fresh brand new layer.
Alright, so I had the three components of my little still
life here. Now what if I want to, you know, that apple the
shadows is nice, but it's still the wrong color. What if I want
some of that color of the apple, the brownish red apple to
show through. Well, we could do that with opacity and opacity
control is in our layers at the very
top and the right. It's under opacity. Now if you click
the little drop down arrow, you can actually manually drag it
and notice what's happening here changes from 50
to 10 so you can make your -
this layer in this case it's this passive shadow as subtle or as
opaque as you want it. It's a lot like working with
paint, but it's much quicker, obviously more powerful. So you
can play with the opacity by using the slider under this
arrow here. So just click and hold and dragging the slider
you can change its opacity or you actually type in the
for example, if I only wanted to be 45% opaque, let's type in 45.
If I want it to be 90% opaque or 80%, just type in 80 and
that's another way you can do it by typing the numeric value.
And real quick also do highlight. Notice I can do
as well make my highlight as opaque, lower the opacity to
make it subtle, raise the opacity to make it more opaque,
sort of like thicker paint. So that's the wonderful thing you
can do with opacity.
Now fill beneath layers works a lot like a - sorry beneath
opacity works a lot like opacity but I use fill more when I
use vector tools so we'll get more to that as well when we
start to use vector, but don't mess with fill too much for
now. Don't worry about it too much but definitely become
familiar with opacity because you'll be using that quite a
bit and you can see on this one tiny crude example how
powerful opacity can be when you start making your own
artwork, your own comps, your own color comps, and so on.
And over to the left of opacity is the blending mode. So I
don't want to go over blending modes too much. They're a very
powerful feature, but it's a very complex feature, adds a
little bit of layer of complexity. But one thing you
could do with blending mode
is it changes the look - these are sort of like
algorithms that I don't quite understand. So for example, if
I take my shadow, say if I take highlight layer, change the mode
to color dodge it becomes, you know, this weird bright yellow,
it combines with what's underneath it. So I don't use - I
use them quite a bit, but I don't want to get into too much.
Just want you to become familiar that the blending
modes are - can be accessed under your layers next the opacity in
this drop-down, but for now just keep everything at normal.
We won't be messing with the modes too much so back to
And normal means that there's no
mathematical algorithmic changes happening. You just you
paint what you see and you see what you paint under normal.
So that was a brief brief look at the various layers
options. Don't get too intimidated. You'll be using it
every time so don't worry, the more you practice, the more you
become familiar with it. In fact, I would encourage you to
start practicing with layers and we'll go through that as we
get to the homework and the exercises but for now just keep
in mind that layers you'll be using every time. There's a lot
of options we didn't cover. Don't worry about them. Just
remember how to make a new layer, how to delete a layer, how to
duplicate a layer, how to make a layer visible and invisible, how were visible and invisible how
to move the things around, and how to change the order. Those
are the key things that will make your Photoshop life a lot
easier. You'll really enjoy using Photoshop once you become
familiar with manipulating layers.
menu window is brush. So let's take a look at brush down.
All right brush. My brush is tabbed here and my brush is
inactive because I don't have a brush tool active. I have a move.
So to activate brush tool is hit B, a keyboard shortcut, or
you can click it here.
Okay, so now we're in business now. This is brush menu.
There's a lot of stuff here. If it's your first time looking at
this you're like my God, what do I do? Don't worry about it.
Let's try to stay focused. There is a lot of stuff, I
agree, and it looks very intimidating.
But the thing I want you to keep in mind when you stare at
this for the first time is this middle right section and this
bottom section, which is your thumbnail. So starting with
this middle right section
what this is is your three of the brush controls you ll be using
quite a bit and we'll touch on those briefly now.
The first is this little crosshairs, if you notice this
crosshairs, it looks like like a target or a crosshair.
What this does is you can change the shape of your brush.
And notice the thumbnail changing, that's what this stroke
and you can actually rotate it to change the shape. So right
now I'm having a perfectly square round brush so you can't
really notice the shape change. But if you had a brush that was
more - these are sort of some default brushes here.
Notice the shape change might be and that's by
clicking and holding this arrow and just manually rotating. You
can also punch in the way you want to rotate it. Perfectly 90
degrees for example, you can just punch in the numerics there.
Roundness is pinching, meaning making it
and that's - you can manually punch it in or use these two
points. So click, hold, and drag any of these two points you'll
be able to pinch or make the roundness smaller or larger.
So definitely want to become familiar with this guy. The last
thing or last two things we want -
and I don't see it with this brush.
The last two things I want you to become familiar with is
hardness and spacing. So hardness obviously is how
hard a brush. So right now hardness for this brush set to
100%. I'm going to make a mark
so you can see what that looks like.
So notice the edge.
The brush is pretty sharp, right? I'm going to zoom in so
you can see the edge.
Pretty sharp, right?
Now if I take hardness,
drop it down, look at the icon or the stroke at the icon or the stroke
thumbnail change. Drop it all the way down to 0 for example,
I make a mark. Now look at the difference. So almost creates an
air brushing mark. So I love using hardness for that
reason. Same brush, but two different edges. Look at that
how beautiful that is.
This is very very very laborious to recreate with traditional
media. You probably need two different tools to do
this. But in Photoshop it's simply with hardness. That's a
Bring the hardness back to 100. And the last thing we want to
look at is spacing. So spacing - if you look at the thumbnail is
how much space literally is in between each of these dots.
Because this brush is made up of a bunch of circles. For
example, right now. It's defaulted at 25. I'm going to
zoom in real quick. Now look at the edge. Notice how if you see
it animate it kind of makes these dots pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.
That's because there's some spacing. So watch what happens
when I crank the spacing up, look at the thumbnail. Now
there's more space in between the mark or the little dots, see?
That's pretty useful when we get into custom
brushes which we'll cover another chapter or another
lesson, but for now just keep in mind what spacing does. And
notice that was 129.
This is, for example, 47. Now when we get to zero, I typically use
brushes at 1% which is the - as low as you can get and now it's
nice and smooth. So you see a difference, space, wide spacing,
less wide, and no spacing, 1%.
And also want to make sure that this is checked because if it's
not checked the spacing just goes crazy.
So don't mess with it unchecked, make sure it's checked so it's
active. Have your slider, you can again, you can move the slider
or add them manually, punch in numeric. So that's a quick look
at the brush.
There's a lot of stuff here, a lot of stuff on the left is a lot of stuff on the left
that we'll get into, don't worry about that too much. These are
all the various dynamics you can apply to your brush, but
make sure -
so for example, I can click on color dynamics and notice how
it brings up a different menu on the right, wet edges, transfer,
shape dynamics, and also makes a checkbox. But to bring back the
one that we want it's at the very top which is brush tip
shape. If I click that then it brings back that menu that we
started with. So if you get lost, let's say you're in color
dynamics and you're like, whoa, where's that crosshairs,
where's the spacing slider, what's going on? I'm so
confused. Make sure to go to the very top and click brush
tip shape and boom you're in business, back to the crosshairs,
hardness, and spacing at your control.
That's a quick look at brush menu. Very powerful with this
brief overview here.
Now related to brush menu, the brush options menu is the brush
preset. So let's take a look at that now.
Okay brush presets now, we're still in brush menu, you'll
notice that you have a bunch of little thumbnails with a number.
What these are, these are brushes and the thumbnail of the
number is the size. This is a mini brush presets window, but
what I like to do is keep the brush presets tab and when I click on
and there it is so brush presets.
What this scary intimidating window may look
like, let me show you the various parts of it. The first
top is the size slider, obviously. Size with the slider.
The second is - these are like last used brushes. So it adds
brushes that you previously used over to this top stack.
Don't pay attention to that too much. But you want to pay
attention to is this bottom section, which is the
thumbnail. So remember we're at brush
we can change the thumbnail at the very bottom. It's called the
Over in brush presets this is what this is stroke thumbnail
is what we're seeing here. Now you can change it and if over
on the very right,
you can scroll through the various brushes. In this case I'm
under stroke thumbnail view. So that's what this right handle
is for. Now if you go to the top right drop down, now all
menu windows have this drop down. It's at the very top
right. If you notice on layers, right, it's right here under
color. It's right here. Brush. There it is again. every menu
window will have this drop down. When you go to brush presets
click this drop-down, click and hold. Oops, click and hold and
it'll bring up this drop down menu. So there's a lot of stuff
here. Don't get too intimidated. First let's take a look at
thumbnail. So click and hold the sub menu, drop-down menu and
you'll notice at the very top you'll see text only, small
thumbnail, large thumbnail, and then stroke thumbnail is
defaulted. That's what we're seeing here. This is the stroke
thumbnail. What I like to use is small thumbnail. And it's
these little icons,
brush icons with the number but this it'll show you what this says, it'll show you
the shape. Pretty much the shape what the brush looks
like. The number is its size. These are pre-made pre-saved
Custom brushes is one of the most powerful features in
Photoshop. These are pre-made custom brushes and they've saved
to a brush preset. That's what it is.
Think of your brush preset as your set of brushes. So at home
when I paint I have a aluminum can full of various brushes,
rounds, Filberts, sables, and all that stuff. That's kind of
what brush presets is. It's like your can of brushes, is like your can or brushes
your collection of brushes. You're going to have you know,
for example, I like a set of bristles for rough texture oil
painting. I have set of
sable brushes at home and
our own aluminum can so those are would be presets for
example, that's one way to think about brush presets. It's
very scary and intimidating. There's a lot of stuff
happening, but just think about it preset is a predefined set
of brushes that either you define or you can download
also Photoshop comes with some. And we'll talk about that now,
but don't get too scared or intimidated. Just think
about it as a collection of brushes that you're going to
use, just like when you're painting at home.
So what we're looking at here is a preset of brushes that
photoshop defaulted. These are a default set of brush presets, a
collection of brushes that came with Photoshop when you first
install and open Photoshop this is probably what you will
see. So that's what these are in this thumbnail. So,
for example, I click this leaf brush.
I bring it onto my canvas. Now the leaf brush
is size 74 and it has some other
dynamics, remember in brush options.
So that's a
leaf brush with dynamic. Let's see. I just going to click on a
This, what is this?
Cloudy brush with a 23. So that's sort of cool drawing
brush. You don't really see much there. This one with the
36. So that's what these presets are. What I do is
I make my own set of brush presets, save them to my own
preset. And we'll talk - we'll talk more about creating
brushes, saving them and things as we move forward. It's a very
important feature of Photoshop. So we definitely want to cover
that but just for now, I just want you become familiar when you become familiar,
with the brush presets and getting familiar with
various thumbnails. Now, you may like the stroke thumbnail
that we had earlier. You may think it's more useful or you
may like small thumbnail. The reason I use small thumbnails because
it's smaller, takes up less space. That's pretty much what
it is. And I personally only use maybe =like 10 at
the most of my own Photoshop brushes that I made and saved
to a preset. So I don't really don't need this on there, I
know what they look like. So that's something you may want
to do as you move forward, but for now just become familiar
with the drop-down menu and the various brush presets, the
stroke thumbnails of the brushes.
And I'll see you can change the size under presets and if you
want to load brushes, like I mentioned earlier, you can do it
here. You can create a new brush preset, meaning save a
brush if you want. You can
also load, save, and replace but let's
touch on that now real quick because it's pretty
So for example
say aye I don't like these brushes. Let's say I want to
load a new set of brushes. One thing I could do is go to the
drop down menu and there's this option in the middle,
reset, load, save, and replace. Now reset what that will do is
it'll reset the brushes. Let's say you make some changes to
your brushes. They'll reset to its set of default brushes that
custom default built in.
Load is what we want - excuse me, save. mean save.
We can actually if we make our brush preset which is what I
personally do is make my own brushes and save them to a
known preset. That's what save does. You can actually save it us. You can actually save it
and save it to the folder. Photoshop has a default folder
for brushes. So that's really convenient. So I'm not going to
do that now. Hit cancel. For example, if you have a brush
set let's say the default brush and you don't like it you want
to change it, what you can do is either load or replace. So I'll
show you what those can do. So first you go to the drop down
menu, remember every window has this drop-down in the
upper-right, go down to the middle where it says load
Then it'll go - it should default to Photoshop's brush
folder. Typically Photoshop comes with a set of default
brushes. So right now I'm in the Photoshop brushes folder
and here is a - this is a test set of brushes that I made.
And the ABR is file extension.
So I'm going to double click that or click open
and what that does is now it stacks. So what it does is it
stacked the set of like tree and foliage brushes to the
bottom of my existing stack of this default brush preset
stack. Now you may not want that. You may just want to get rid of
the old brushes and replace with the new one. So to do
that, I would go to the drop down menu and hit replace. So
go to replace brushes from the drop down menu and
then scroll to the - find the ABR, file the Photoshop brush file
that you want,
click open and then boom what it does is it replaces the
entire stack with just these tree brushes. So this is a
brush set that I save of just texture, leaf, and foliage
type textures. So it replaced the brush back. So typically that's
what I do when I load a brush pack.
And as you become more familiar with creating your own brushes,
and we'll get into them to detail, you'll definitely want
to start saving your own brush presets and then become
familiar with replace. Remember I said like think of it as a
set of brushes when you're painting in traditional media.
So, you know, let's say you're working on -
you were working on a textural type piece or a
textural type thumbnail, but you want maybe a more refined
smoother thumbnail then you would replace your bristle
brushes, for example your texture brushes, with more finer
brushes. So that's what replace brushes feature is. So
definitely become familiar with that and definitely become
familiar with this drop down menu. You'll be using that
quite a bit.
eye color is very very powerful in Photoshop and you can do a
lot with color. It's very fast, very powerful, and very
convenient. And I access a lot of those features with the
color menu window. So let's take a look at that now.
All right, so color is in our
tab group and I'm just going to drag it out.
Now it's defaulted to this view, which is a hue box I believe
And the three things that we want to pay attention to
besides color is the color menu itself, but the drop-down menu
over in the upper right. And I'll do that now. Now it's
defaulted to hue cube. What I like to use is HSB sliders and
that's right in the middle and I'll talk about that in a
So I'm go ahead and select HSB sliders.
HSB sliders has this
box of hue at the very bottom, but I just like to
drag that to the strip. Now, what we're going to do when we
manipulate color is use these three sliders. So this is what
I like to do. So we will like the hue cube and there's a way
to call up the hue cube as well. And I'll show you that in
a minute, but what HSB sliders stands for is hue,
saturation, brightness. So this is exactly like painting. So
again, the reoccurring theme here is I think of Photoshop as
much as possible as traditional medium HSB, hue, saturation,
brightness is how painters think. Also the same with
drafts people, of course when you're drawing but you know,
you want to know what color it is, how saturated, how intense,
especially the value which is a brightness slider. So I
personally work almost exclusively with HSB sliders.
You may find another way more comfortable, but I think for
now it's good, especially if you're already painting, already,
drawing, already familiar with making art traditional medium,
I would recommend HSB sliders to start out with.
And HSB sliders are so powerful because at the very top you
have the ,ue
you can slide, you can also
touch down here at the strip. Remember you can expand the
strip at the top it's more grey, at the bottom it's darker and
more saturated. But what I like to do is start with a color at
the very top. So for example, let's say I want a green and
now I can change its saturation and brightness. So I lock in my green,
my hue. I can make it more intense, less intense. I could
make it brighter. So let's say I want a mid-tone fairly
Let's say makes some grass, that's kind of convenient. Got a little
grass brush has a weird dynamic on it. Let me turn
And my leaf brush it also has a dynamic.
Write an essay one brighter green. So I just go to my color
slider, change the brightness, move the saturation make it
slightly yellower for example, boom,
you know, you can go on and on and play so you can see how
this guy you'll be using it every time to control your
color, very powerful tool.
And also what you can do if you like working with the cube
besides leaving it at hue cube - it's
set to hue cube and hue cube works
sort of like HSB. The right is the H. Your hue, right.
Again I can go to a green and go to yellow green for example,
I can go to a violent under hue. And this cube this, center you and this Cube the Centre
part is saturation left to right. Obviously, you can see
on the screen left to get sprayer desaturate it on the
right much more intense and up and down is hue. So get
familiar with playing with color, finding a color with the hue cube.
If you like it that way what I do
is I work in HSB slider mode with a minimized cube, just a
nice strip. And then if I need more precision, I'll click this
icon. So over on the left you have two little squares, right,
a black square and a white square n this case. What this is is
color. This square, this foreground color, which is
right now it's set to black, this bottom square's background
which is set to white. So if I click one of the squares,
click the black square for example, now
I bring up a color picker, which is basically a more
robust hue cube. And this is the hue cube plus these numbers
and don't get scared by these numbers what these
are just you can manually set your manual
values. You can even go down here and use get the numeric
web value. This is the HTML color if you want to make
the - match a color on a website. For example, and these
numbers are also here to you know, so 285 is the degrees.
Remember it's a color wheel.
Photoshop doesn't have a color wheel, but that's the
degree right here and percent of saturation, percent of
So when you go on to Color Picker, that's what these
numbers are. So don't get scared with these numbers. But
what I do is typically if I want to fine-tune a color, I
bring up this big color picker.
And say I want to get the perfect oranges violets. So I
take this violet, move it towards red for example, and
then I look here and see what I have here. And then I can
fine-tune its saturation by going left or right and I can
make it slightly darker for example.
By going down and now I have my perfect violet. Let's say I
want to make an orange violet and I want to use the hue cube.
So I click on that and I want to make it even warmer for
example and brighter.
Then click on that.
So that's one example of hue cube if I want to make a dark
green olive, green contrast, move the slider
like so. So that's two ways to get the perfect color. Use
whatever it is you're comfortable with, the hue cube, color picker,
or the sliders. I say use all three, I use all three. There's
other things we can do to with adjustments to give even more
precision. That's how powerful Photoshop works with color, but
for now start to get familiar with color menu window. You can
be using it a lot. Start with HSB if you're not sure what the
other ones are. I really don't know. I mean, I know it RGB and
the other settings but HSB is I think the best for painters and
So that was our colored menu and
make sure it's set to HSB at the drop down. And I'm going to
go ahead and tab it back here to my tab group so it's nice
and convenient, make sure it's first.
I don't know why it looks like that. See if I can change it.
Yeah, there you go. I like to keep it minimal. Reserve as much
space as possible.
Okay, the last menu window we're going to look at is
history. And this one is pretty self-explanatory and you
won't be using it too much but I just like to have it there
just in case and I'll show you why right now.
All right history. So history is pretty powerful because it
allows you to actually undo your work.
So for example if I have a stroke and I'm like - if I have a
layer and I make a drawing
so I have the
and I have let's say make a blue
and then I make a green or purple
eyes and nose, then let's say I do - I
the hair using a leaf brush.
Okay, so I did like five different brush strokes and one
All in the same layer. Now if I go to history
you can see it's saves the history and you can set how
many it saves but it saves, I believe this is said to like 50. So
now if I go up on the history, I can undo that eraser marks.
You see that? I just go up, history, and undo.
Undo that eyebrow, undo that. So if you know if you make a
mark, you don't like it,
you can just go to history and undo it. Another
way is with the shortcut of course is
control Z is undo and right now it's defaulted to undo redo,
but you can change it to actually goes backwards in
history and we'll talk about that in keyboard shortcuts.
Just keep in mind history is a way to keep track of the marks
and operations that you do. If you don't like any of them for
whatever reason you can just simply scroll to it and undo it.
That's why I like to have history available. I don't use
it too much
but it definitely helps me keep track of all the things, the
marks that the paint strokes and operations I've done on a
get into making our own artwork or editing photos and editing
reference, I want to make sure that you got your hardware and
your - and Photoshop all set up. So in this first assignment,
we're just going to go over some of the basic tools we
just learned, we're going to go over - I want you to really
get how to open and close documents and get your
Photoshop ready, get your workspace ready so that we can
start getting into more detailed painting and editing
in the next lesson.
Okay. Hope you enjoyed the lesson. So remember this lesson
we learned the real basics of using Photoshop, how to get
started. We talked about the navigating through Photoshop.
We talked about the various parts of the interface,
especially the important parts we're going to be using, and you
know, just basically how to move around Photoshop,
especially if it's your first time. And we also talked about
how to set up your documents and set up all your tools so
that in the next lesson, we'll be able to get really deep and
begin to use Photoshop to create our own artwork.
Free to try
1. Lesson Overview55sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Choosing the Right Hardware and Software9m 3s
3. Setting Up Photoshop13m 52s
4. Setting Up Your Workspace34m 7s
5. Layers22m 20s
6. Brushes16m 2s
7. Colors and History10m 23s
8. Assignment and Lesson Wrap-up1m 55s